We should forgive our enemies, but not before they are hanged.
Before They Are Hanged takes The Blade Itself and takes everything up a notch. It’s still a dark and twisted world, there are still terrible people on all sides… but now we have even more hints and worldbuilding on darker things coming.
Overall, it’s a worthwhile continuation to the first story and I’m really looking forward to see where it goes next. The narration in particular remains well worth it.
A few points I particularly liked:
Glokta: He’s not a good man. But perhaps he can do a few small good things, in his own twisted ways. He’s an absolutely fascinating point of view and not one I’d expect to find myself rooting for if you’d just give me a summary of the books.
Ninefingers is great. I love the barbarian tropes. And you know, he has some good advice sometimes… I particularly like the contrast and growth with Farro. Certainly a ... graphic sex scene, but it fit the two of them I think. Her reactions to it were hilarious. .
West: Promoted into a job that shouldn’t work… and does
Bayaz and the Magi. There is such a feeling of history there. The feeling of an old man (how old? who knows!) with immense power that knows he’s not that much longer for this world and wants to do something about it before he goes.
Honour, eh? What the hell is that anyway? Every man thinks it’s something different. You can’t drink it. You can’t fuck it. The more of it you have the less good it does you, and if you’ve got none at all you don’t miss it.